Translation Update: “Special Project: Toyotarō Drew It!” Image #77
Published by 20 May 2024, 4:42 PM EDT

Roughly every month, Toyotarō provides a drawing of a Dragon Ball (or related…!) character — as well as an accompanying comment — on the official Japanese Dragon Ball website. Following up on the wealth of characters already drawn, for his April 2024 entry, Toyotarō has drawn Shu, the main character from the video game Blue Dragon:

Blue Dragon was originally a video game with character designs by Toriyama-sensei, but as a V-Jumper (someone who really likes V-Jump), I wholeheartedly recommend the comic drawn by Noriko Otake! Since the original character designs were drawn by Toriyama-sensei, it was a wonderful story that could be enjoyed as a Toriyama comic!

The role-playing video game Blue Dragon was developed by Mistwalker exclusively for the Xbox 360 (published by Microsoft Game Studios), released December 2006 in Japan and August 2007 internationally. The game was part of Microsoft’s outreach efforts to secure Japanese-developed games for the Xbox 360 that would appeal to Japanese audiences to make inroads for their console and ecosystem. Alongside other notable staff members, the game featured writing by Final Fantasy franchise father Hironobu Sakaguchi and artwork and character designs by Akira Toriyama (who previously worked together on Chrono Trigger). The game also featured an original soundtrack by Final Fantasy veteran composer Nobuo Uematsu.

Various sequels and spin-off media were created under the Blue Dragon franchise banner, including the aforementioned manga — The Seven Heavenly Dragons: Battle in the Floating City — by Noriko Otake serialized in V-Jump (the same magazine that Toyotaro’s Dragon Ball Heroes: Victory Mission and Dragon Ball Super manga have been serialized). This particular manga was a spin-off adaptation of the television series (where Noriko Otake served as animation director), taking place between episodes 22 and 23. Otake’s manga was preceded by two other spin-off manga adaptations: Blue Dragon Ral Ω Grad by Tsuneo Takano and Takeshi Obata (running in Weekly Shōnen Jump), and Blue Dragon ST by Ami Shibata (running in Monthly Shōnen Jump).

The original Blue Dragon Xbox 360 game is part of Microsoft’s backward compatible lineup, and remains playable on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles. In America, the game is currently on sale digitally for $6.59.

This drawing and comment set has been added to the respective page in our “Translations” archive.

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